Professional pickleball is coming to the DMV for the very first time this week. The best men’s and women’s players, including #1 ranked Ben Johns from Montgomery County and #1 ranked women’s player, 15 year-old sensation Anna Leigh Waters, are playing Thursday through Sunday in the n2grate DC Open at the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) in College Park.
Johns told MyMCM he was not surprised by the game’s rising popularity. “I knew it was a matter of time. It’s such an infectious sport. Every gets addicted to it. It’s really fun, it’s welcoming so there’s something in it for everybody.”
As far as being the best in the world, he said, “It’s an awesome place to be. I think Billie Jean King said it best, ‘pressure is a privilege’ so I’m in a privileged position.”
The JTCC is known as the home training ground of tennis player Frances Tiafoe who made the U.S. Open semifinals this year.
The number one ranked men’s and women’s pickleball players in the world @BenJohns_pb from Montgomery County and 15 year old @annaleighwaters are in College Park at @JTCCtennis today through Sunday for a @PPAtour event. @mymcmedia pic.twitter.com/WVjfEpMI7t
— Joe Yasharoff (@JYash) October 20, 2022
💥Pickleball Mania Takes Over JTCC!💥
Starting at 9:30 am, the n2grate DC Open kicked off tournament play featuring 750 of the best pickleball players in the world!
— Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) (@JTCCtennis) October 20, 2022
MyMCM talked with Johns last year about his rise to the top of the world rankings and the popularity of pickleball, considered the fastest growing sport in the U.S.